At least 15,000 unemployed youths in Akwa Ibom State have so far registered for employment with the Akwa Ibom Enterprise and Employment Scheme, AKEES, the state government employment agency since its establishment five months ago.
Figures released by the office showed that 1,638 have so far been engaged by the agency in 85 businesses across the state with 1,100 of the applicants registered through SMS and the rest online within the same period.
AKEES was mandated by Governor Udom Emmanuel to create 10,000 jobs in four years and reduce unemployment plaguing the state by 50% on the average of 2,500 jobs a year.
But a mandate of 2,500 jobs a year remained a far cry from resolving the unemployment crisis in the area with millions of unemployed youths and tens of thousands graduating from tertiary institutions within and outside the area yearly.
It would however be said to have been largely successful with over 1,600, having been already engaged in the first five months representing more than half of its yearly mandate.
But analysts have remained pessimistic over how the state government’s plan could reduce unemployment by 50% considering its rising rate which has skyrocketed to high heavens in recent times.
They have argued that the plan would not, in any way, severe
the height of joblessness by 50% in the state unless the architects of the scheme extend the target to one hundred thousand jobs yearly.
In evaluating the effectiveness of the scheme, a public commentator, Mr. Ubong Abasi Ise in an article released to the media, called for an expansion of the structure of AKEES mandate, while hoping that it would not turn out to be another political gambit.
Ise maintained that the 10,000 mandate indicated that the scheme is stuck somewhere, considering the fact that the registered number so far, would likely outgrow the available opportunities in the private sector which has been struggling with the prevailing economic realities.
“ Also, how zealous is the state government in strengthening the capacity of Small and Medium scale Enterprises, SMEs, through Public-Private Partnership, PPP, in a bid to provide succour to youth restiveness.
“At least by now I suppose that the nucleus of Common Facility Centres, CFCs, should have been proliferated across the 31 local government areas in the state, apart from those available in Uyo, Mkpat Enin and few other locations.

READ ALSO  Obasanjo plotting my extradition by all means – Kashamu